The University of Arkansas at Little Rock today announced a grand opening for its downtown Little Rock location on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The new multipurpose center at 333 President Clinton Ave. includes a reflection room with a historic mural by American painter Joe Jones and lecture space with state-of-the-art video conferencing technology.
The university will hold a ribbon cutting and reception at noon with Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott and UA Little Rock Chancellor Andrew Rogerson, followed by a University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service program at 6 p.m. The program, “Introducing The Struggle in the South, a Joe Jones Mural,” will be moderated by Sen. Joyce Elliott and will feature Brad Cushman, UA Little Rock Department of Art and Design gallery director and curator; author Guy Lancaster; Dr. Brian Mitchell, UA Little Rock history professor; Dr. Bobby L. Roberts, former UA Little Rock archivist and former Central Arkansas Library System executive director; and UA Little Rock student Taemora Williams.
Both events are free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to RSVP for the evening panel by calling 501-683-5239 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This new downtown facility will serve as a bridge to our main campus and as a center for showcasing the best of UA Little Rock,” Dr. Rogerson said. “It will offer easy access to university resources, recruitment information, lectures and panel discussions for students, faculty, supporters and guests.”
The downtown location will feature Joe Jones’ 1935 mural, The Struggle in the South, which was originally painted in the dining hall at Commonwealth College near Mena, Ark. The artwork includes vibrant and provocative depictions of struggling sharecroppers, coal miners under the watch of an overlord, and a black family in fear and agony of a lynching. Recently restored with a $500,000 grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resource Council, the 44-by-9 foot mural spans two sides of the reflection room.
“This extraordinary work of art will inspire new generations to study, discuss and create their own legacy of social justice and equality,” Cushman said. “As viewers take in this mural and its compelling imagery, we hope they will reflect on their civic responsibility to one another.”
Ross Owyong will serve as director of the new center. A graduate of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Owyong will oversee the use of spaces for meetings, workshops, training sessions and events. For more information about availability or rates, contact Owyoung at email@example.com or visit UA Little Rock Downtown online.